MILAN: Exactly one year after a fishing boat crowded with smuggled migrants capsized, sinking to the Mediterranean Sea floor with some 800 people trapped inside, Italy is launching efforts to raise up the ship and bring it to a Sicilian port.

Italian naval ships are to set sail Monday evening from Sicily for the shipwreck site. There they will determine how best to lift the wreck, which still contains bodies, from a depth of 360 metres (nearly 1,200 feet). It will then be towed to the Sicilian port of Augusta in an operation expected to take the rest of the month.

The Italian navy has already recovered 169 bodies found near the wreck, after Italy's premier vowed to recover the corpses out of respect for the dead.